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"Italian 1.85-inch Antitank Gun" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on the WWII Italian 47-mm antitank gun was published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 15, Dec. 31, 1942.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


This weapon (see accompanying sketch) is of Boehler design, and was first introduced in 1935. It has a high rate of fire, and may be fired either on wheels or from its platform. It may be used as an infantry support gun in addition to its antitank role. This gun is a standard Italian antitank weapon.

It fires HE or AP ammunition, although the former is very erratic in performance.

The gun may be transported in any of five ways: by manpower, using special ropes; drawn by one mule; carried on a truck; drawn behind a truck; or divided into five packloads.

[Italian 1.85-in (47-mm) Antitank Gun]
ITALIAN 1.85-in (47-mm) ANTITANK GUN

The disadvantages of the gun are: no protection is provided for the gun crew; the traverse is limited; and the burst is less effective than that of the British 2-pounder (40-mm).


Muzzle velocity (AP)      2,067 f/s
Muzzle velocity (HE)820 f/s
Maximum range (HE)3,800 yds
Effective range (AP or HE)220 - 1,100 yds
Rate of fire 
   theoretical20 rpm
   practical7 - 8 rpm
Weight of barrel172 lbs
Weight of gun in draught660 lbs
Weight of gun in action582 lbs
Traverse on platform70°
Traverse on wheels40°
Maximum elevation56°
Maximum depression15°

At a range of 100 yards, the AP shell penetrated 55.6 mm of armor plate, while at the greater range of 1,640 yards, the shell pierced 23.9 mm of armor plate.

The minimum gun crew is three men. However, the gun is usually manned by two groups: the firing, and the ammunition.

The firing group consists of six men; gun captain, layer, gunner, loader, ammunition handler, and a supernumerary.

The ammunition group is responsible for getting ammunition to the gun position.


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